The efforts to revive the Nigerian textile sector may have started to yield fruit as the uniforms for the country’s military and paramilitary personnel will be produced locally from January 2023
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) disclosed the cheering development while announcing a Joint Venture Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that creates Sur corporate Wear Nigeria Ltd between the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) and Sur Corporate Wear.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 2020 championed the effort to rejuvenate the textile and garment sector when it called a meeting of stakeholders including the military and paramilitary, asking that their uniforms be sown locally to retain capital and grow the moribund sector.
ICRC Acting Head of Media & Publicity, Manji Yarling in a statement on Monday said the DICON Sur collaboration will span a concession period of 20 years and will be responsible for producing uniforms for the Army, Navy, Air force, Police, Civil Defence and other military and paramilitary organisations.
At an earlier meeting of the stakeholders, held at the instance of the ICRC, the Commission’s Acting Director-General Michael Ohiani charged all that are involved in the project to resolve all issues that were hindering the completion of the factory and report back to the Commission in one week.
At the rescheduled meeting chaired by Jobson Ewalefoh, Director of the Contract Compliance Department (CCD) in the ICRC, he urged all stakeholders to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time frame.
The Director said that the project was very important to the nation as it will curb capital flight, create over 920 jobs and will also be a thing of pride for the nation to produce its uniforms.
He added that as it progresses, the DICON Sur joint venture is expected to begin to source all its raw materials from within Nigeria.
“The fact that we produce our military and paramilitary uniforms locally is a pride to all of us. It is a pride that we all must uphold.
“Sudan is producing their military kits and I know DICON can do it if they have the right support,” he said.
He assured all stakeholders that the ICRC as part of its regulatory function will liaise with all the relevant government agencies to fast-track the ongoing process of securing approval for off-takers when production begins in January.
He disclosed that going forward; the ICRC through its Contract Compliance Department (CCD) will make the DICON Sure Project a priority and as such monitor its progress until it is completed.
He pledged that the ICRC will continue to intervene to make PPP projects operate smoothly.
Speaking at the interactive meeting, the Managing Director of Sur Corporate Wear Nig. Ltd., Burhan Can Karabulut commended the management of ICRC for intervening and ensuring that the project was hitch-free.
He also extended the commendation of the investors, adding that following the intervention of the ICRC and the meeting of stakeholders that ensued, the investor had agreed to release funds for the completion of the project.
He said that the company had so far taken the project to 68 per cent completion, adding that the remaining funds for the project will be released to meet the completion goal.
“If the work resumes in July, it is assumed that we can start commissioning as of January, but this January, the commissioning will not be 100 per cent production,” he said.
He however said that the designs for the uniforms had yet to be approved and as such the company cannot source its raw materials for production, stressing that without the approval, the production could not begin.